At CSP 2018 States discussed the Treaty’s implementation, transparency and reporting, universalization, international assistance, as well as a few procedural matters this week. The focus this week was more substantive compared to previous years, and included a specific session on tackling the diversion of weapons into the illicit trade.
However there was little discussion of compliance with the Treaty obligations, particularly as it relates to arms transfers to the warring parties in Yemen. As ATT States Parties were entering their fourth day of the CSP 2018, 30 people, including 22 children, were killed in Yemen following a Saudi- and Emirati- led coalition airstrike.
Control Arms delegate Ali Jameel, of Mwatana for Human Rights in Yemen said:
“I am so disappointed that they have refused to condemn continuing sales to warring parties. The reality on the ground is not being reflected in the meeting. States are happy to talk about issues, which of course are important, like tackling diversion and ensuring transparent reporting to the Treaty body. However, they need to also tackle directly the arms transfers that are fueling atrocities every day.”
Control Arms organised several side events during the week including the Launch of Control Arms ATT Monitor 2018 Annual Report, Preventing the Diversion of Legally Transferred Weapons, The Humanitarian Impact of Arms Transfers to Middle East, and How to Use the Arms Trade Treaty to Address Gender-based Violence: a Practical Guide.
Notable outcomes from the discussions included commitments from Botswana, Canada and Colombia to join the Treaty soon, as well as substantive contributions from States on measures to prevent diversion. Ambassador Janis Karklinš of Latvia was elected as the President of the CSP 2019. Next year’s Conference of States Parties will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 26-30 August, 2019.
Control Arms will continue to pressure governments to effectively implement the ATT in order to establish high international norms to regulate the estimated $90 billion dollar arms industry.
Click here to read Control Arms’ daily summary analysis of CSP 2018, see photos from the week or read the full statements given during the plenary.